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The Spirit of Assisi is back in vogue

Letter from Rome

Pope Francis lights a peace candle in front of representatives from different religious traditions at the St. Francis Basilica in Assisi on Sept. 20. (Photo by AFP)

The "Spirit of Assisi" — a phrase that many people in the last pontificate ridiculed as an unthinking, trendy-lefty capitulation to religious syncretism — is fully back in vogue again within the Catholic Church.

We can give much credit to Pope Francis for that, especially after this week's gathering in St. Francis' hometown with hundreds of leaders of all faiths to pray for peace and say no to war, violence and terrorism in the name of religion.

The 79-year-old pope's unflinching support of this "Spirit of Assisi" project, which has sought to keep alive the historical 1986 effort by John Paul II to unite all the world's religions in the quest for peace, has been indispensable. 

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